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13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  573 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Counter In commentary and quotations, computer dumps and cartoons, 13TH GEN is a multimedia anthem to the American post-boomer generation,our country's thirteenth generation since the founding fathers. ...more
Paperback, First Edition (US/CAN), 240 pages
Published April 1993 by Vintage (first published March 23rd 1993)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  573 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Mandy Jo
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
This week’s headline? Boomers analyze GenX

Why this book? more nineties nostalgia

Which book format? used old textbook

Primary reading environment? beside swimming hole

Any preconceived notions? wannabe definitive text

Identify most with? um…my parents?

Three-word quote? “mortgaged your future”

Goes well with? celery with ranch

Hate to break it to you, Boomers, but self-actualization does not arrive in your twenties during an acid trip.

There’s a lot more going on in this book, but I’m focusing on the Bo
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: generations, history
Howe and Strauss covered the 13th Generation--and the other 13 American generations--briefly in their first book, Generations. Here they go into great (and often grim) detail about what we now call Generation X. The writing is livelier than Generations, fortunately. The sidebars are interesting, although distracting.

In some respects, yes, the book is showing its age. Thirteeners are now hitting midlife instead of young adulthood, and the book's chatroom format is likely to bring on a wave of nos
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books for understanding Generation X, people like me born between 1965 - 1983. We are divided into two subgroups - Atari and Nintendo.

If you ever wonder why you can't get one of us on a committee this is the book to read.

This is the book that helps the boomers understand why we are not like them. Of course, the book is full of commentary, pictures, irreverent responses which will irritate the average didactic boomer to no end. Oh well.

Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Spoke to me back in 1993 when I picked it up on a whim and a recent New Yorker Article and Blog post have brought this book back to my attention. Sure it is dated in its format, but think about when it was being researched and written. Yes it is written by 'gasp' boomers they are, much to their credit, strong demographic researchers discussing trends and generational types. We, like the Lost Generation, our Great Grandparents (1883 - 1900), are lost in the abyss and frankly can't understand why ...more
Derek Ellsworth
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Considering it was written by a couple of Boomers, this is a hilarious and VERY insightful look into my generation, and done very on. What's interesting is all the things predicted that have come true! ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
It would have been very hard for the authors to predict two significant things that hadn't happened at the time of publication that would significantly and indelibly affect my generation: the rise of the internet and the information age revolution, and 9/11.

These are wo significant cultural shifts and markers these authors couldn't have seen coming (except for maybe the internet) that I think historians will look at 50 years from now as very significant.

It was very hard to read a book about my g
Dec 03, 2011 added it
the margin quotes alone are worth it.
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
13th gen, gen x, understanding. I read this book some time ago.
Casie Blevins
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Filled with bunkum and real insight, drowning in 80's and early 90's pop culture, at turns humorous and downright insulting, Howe's book filled two weeks of my evenings with eye rolls, snorts, uhuhs and general amusement. Written by two Boomers who at times portrayed themselves as unapologeticly the superior generation, and at other times took a scathing look in the mirror themselves, I enjoyed their historical perspective of my generation (the 13th), theirs and my parent's Boomer Generation, my ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
First read this book when it came out in the early nineties. This was before Generation X was known as Generation X and just after Douglas Coupland's novel "Generation X" came out. The book is a little dated (as 13th Gens were at the time 30 and under and now we're late 30s to 50s!), however there some truths in it about our generation. Overall an interesting cultural study. ...more
Dusty Deal
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Jul 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
I absolutely, positively hate this book. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities.

This book has all the flaws of their previous book (cherry picking data to support a completely bullshit theory), and adds a heavy dose of smugness and condescension. Note to the authors: the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". To call this book superficial is unfair, because they never do enough work or go into enough depth to even reach the level of superficial. According to these idiots, lower average SAT scores
Ronald Wise
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
This one contained some interesting comparisons between American generations. But reading it fifteen years after it was written had my mental timeline all messed up. Trying to remember the Gen-X (their 13th Gen) young people I was meeting back then, and also trying to remember what it was all about just prior to widespread Internet and Web knowledge or availability! I do recall in those days a definite sense among the new adults that they would never have it as good as their parents, but as it t ...more
Melissa Smith
Really insightful, unique look at Generation X, and some of the foundational issues to our current social trends and social problems. I highly recommend it!
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
That my generation is doomed to cynical mediocrity.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Insightful book about the idiosyncrasies of Generation X.
Dave Peticolas
May 10, 2014 rated it it was ok

Howe and Strauss chronicle America's cynical, pragmatic thirteenth generation. My generation, that is.

May 21, 2014 marked it as abandoned
gave up
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture
Probably a bit out-dated, this was a fascinating look at generational differences.
Erika Mulvenna
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miscellaneous
Very entertaining yet incredibly factual, and still relevant 20+ years after being published. Highly recommended to anyone born 1961 - 1981.
Ray Charbonneau
Sep 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, dnf
Incredibly whiny.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Awfully fun, our little generation has been crushed on both ends by generations bigger and more famous than we are. So nice to get a smidgen of recognition.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this book when it first came out. I remember really liking it very much back then. I wonder if it held up. I would like to see the authors revisit this and see how things are.
Kim  Scripture
Feb 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book came recommended as a good one for the use of data and statistics as applied to generational demographics; what I found was a bunch of interprative psychobabble.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A sound theory on how the Boomers "Great Society" policies has turned the nation into a dump. ...more
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May 24, 2008
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Oct 10, 2018
Bill Hennessy
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Sep 02, 2017
Piper Perry
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Sep 26, 2018
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